Happy New Year!

The Arts Room got an early Christmas present a couple of weeks ago when Susan Riley, a music teacher, photographer, and arts-integration specialist living in Maryland, found our blog and took the time to write us, saying she loves reading the posts on our site!  She also put us on her Blogroll (thanks, Susan!) on her website, Education Closet, where she writes about her passion for arts-integration, and her life as a teacher and a parent.  We have enjoyed exploring her site over the past ten days and would love for you to get to know her site, too, so we’ve added Education Closet to our Blogroll (here, on the right).  Her site is an excellent resource for parents and especially for teachers who want to find out more about Arts Integration: what it is, how to do it, what it looks like in schools, and more.  Susan is also an insightful and entertaining writer, so click on over to her site and look around.  Here’s an excerpt from one of our favorite posts:

“So there I was, thinking that I needed to find something different to do with my life.  I loved education, loved the students and even loved my subject matter.  But I didn’t love the negative culture in my school, the politics that are played at the expense of children, or the endless amount of unnecessary and unfulfilling work and meetings that I had to attend.  For the amount of pay I was receiving, I wasn’t getting much in return.  There are many great studies out there that show that people don’t work for money.  They work for fulfillment.  And it’s true – I started out teaching for pennies, but loved it because I was inspired and excited every day I went to work.  But when the work became mindless and all I was told was to do “more” without any gain in return, I started to look at my other options.  And along came the presentation that changed my life and my vision in education.”

Reading her posts has been inspiring and now that it’s the New Year (Happy 2011, all!) we’re thinking about our goals and resolutions for the coming year – posting more often, launching a Facebook page, building a arts-calendar, and just trying to keep up with all the great arts-happenings in Bristol and Warren!  And of course, encouraging and strengthening the arts and arts-integration opportunities for our kids in school.  We are grateful to Susan Riley for reaching out and making a connection with The Arts Room, and we hope this is the start of a year full of connections and collaborations!

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